We spent Saturday cleaning up the garden, I can now report that the House Martins have not undertaken a second brood, and all is now cleaned up. They continue to circle around the houses though, and hopefully will stay with us until the first weeks of October.
Last night we had another lovely sunset, with the wispy clouds turning a lovely flame red as the sun set on another gorgeous day.
This morning was much the same, sunshine and a clear blue sky. A large female Sparrowhawk flew over the house when I first went outside. The starlings grouped together to mob it so unfortunately it didn't stay long. We set off once again in hope there might be something new arrived over night. As we left home the starlings were now singing from the top of the larches, they looked to be enjoying the warmth of the sun after there recent engagement with the Sparrowhawk.
We walked from Blackberry Lane to Alton Lane through the field. Trees around the end of the footpath have been removed opening the area up completely, the reason being to give more space for hay that the field has been used for. Rather hay than houses I suppose. We walked past the garden centre and for the first time in a long while the Rooks were calling from the trees around the rookery. We headed down the footpath towards Willis Lane, disturbing the odd Speckled Wood butterfly as we went.
Once again it was quiet, we would see some blackbirds, and hear a Robin call or sing some of their melancholic song but that was it. The fields seem to be changing all the time as they are harvested and then ploughed, the colours reflecting their state.
We walked through to the Newton Plantation, the fields here are tall with maize, but it does not yet seem ripe enough, this weeks sun must have helped though and I would expect this to be gathered towards the end of the month. The woods had a few tit flocks calling from the tree tops, and the loud squawking calls of jays, that reminded us of parrots.
The field here has like everywhere else been harvested, and it was nice to see traditional haystacks made from rectangular bales. The drum shapes are nice, but they are not haystacks. This is a haystack.
We came down the main bridleway and crossed the road and then along the Kitwood Lane. Here the footpath runs east to west, and the trees and bushes on the northern side were in full sun and it was quite warm. From the grass we heard a sound that has not been that common this year, crickets were singing. I managed to find this one that stayed for a while. Again I am not sure but I think it is a Rosel's Bush Cricket
I had expected the bridleway to be wet, but it was very dry and quite easy to walk. As we did so we recalled the places where in the spring we had seen things, but now it was quiet like everywhere else. A Chiffchaff called from the bushes, but refused to show itself, and there were more speckled woods and small whites, but that was about all.
We decided to walk across the field by the footpath towards Old Down, and then back home along Gradwell. As we came across the field I noticed this dragonfly amongst the stubble.
This is a female Common Darter, and she seemed quite content to sit in the warm sun. As we came across the footpath the breeze had picked up, a sign that perhaps the weather was about to change. I don't want to lose the glorious sunshine, but maybe a change might bring something new. As we walked up to home a Chiffchaff sang from the gardens, this is the first time I have heard one in full song for sometime.
The afternoon was spent in the garden enjoying the last of the sun. We were not alone in this as there were many bees feeding on the seedum in the garden bed. Some of the bees could also be seen doing the waggle dance as they fed on the small flower heads. The bees have had a bad year, and this is the first time I have seen them using this plant in the garden. Maybe everyone should plant some, and help the bees.